New Delhi, June 18:  Former wrestler and BJP leader Babita Phogat has refuted the claims of Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik and her grappler husband Satyawart Kadian of helping them in getting permission from the police for the protest against accused outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and called them the puppets of the Congress party.

In a video posted on Sakshi Malik's Twitter handle, the Olympic medallist and her husband on Saturday insisted that the wrestlers' protest was not politically motivated, adding that Babita and another BJP leader Teerath Rana had helped them in getting permission at Jantar Mantar. Wrestlers Protest: Our Protest is Not Politically Motivated, Says Olympic Medallist Sakshi Malik and Her Husband Satyawart Kadian (Watch Video).

Babita Phogat Hits Out at Sakshi Malik, Her Husband Satyawart Kadian

"Let me make it clear that our protest is not politically-motivated. We came (to Jantar Mantar) in January, and permission was taken by two BJP leaders seeking police permission," Kadian said and asked Sakshi to show the letter, seeking permission for protest, in the video. "This (protest) is not Congress supported. More than 90 per cent people (in the wrestling fraternity) knew that for the last 10-12 years, it (harassment and intimidation) has been going on. A few people wanted to raise their voices but the wrestling fraternity was not united," they added. On Sunday, the 33-year-old Babita took to twitter to dismiss the claims of the wrestling couple. Wrestlers Protest: Delhi Police Likely to Take Back Cases Against Grapplers.

"I felt very sad and laughed too when I was watching the video of my younger sister and her husband, first of all I want to make it clear that the permission paper which my younger sister was showing did not have my signature or my name anywhere on it. There is no proof of consent and I have nothing to do with it," the BJP leader said in her statement. Phogat also highlighted that from day one, she had advised the wrestlers to have faith in the Prime Minister and the judicial system in the country but they instead sought solution from Congress's Priyanka Gandhi, Deepender S Hooda and others who themselves are rapists and accused. Wrestlers Protest: Grapplers To Take Part in Asian Games Trials, Say Need a Month and Half to Prepare.

"I have been saying from day one that ..have faith in the Prime Minister and the judicial system of the country, the truth will definitely come out. As a female player, I was always with all the players of the country, am with and will always be with, but I was not in favor of this since the beginning of the protest. "I have repeatedly told all the wrestlers that you should meet the PM or Home Minister, the solution will come from there only. But you were seeking the solution from Congress's Priyanka Gandhi, Deepender S. Hooda and other people who themselves are rapists and accused in other cases," the statement further read.

The Haryana BJP leader also slammed the wrestlers for embarrassing the country and asked them to reveal the real intention behind the protest. "People of the country have now recognised the faces of these opposition. They should answer to all those soldiers, farmers and even women wrestlers. For their own political benefit, they have betrayed the faith and support of women players, who were sitting together on the dharna with them," Phogat said. Wrestlers Protest: Vinesh Phogat Says Government Is Trying To Protect WFI Chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

"When this video of yours is in front of everyone, the people of the country will now understand that...your protest during the new Parliament inauguration day and the matter of immersing medals won for the nation in the Ganges were an embarrassing act for the country. "Sister, you may eat bread made of almond flour, but I and the people of my country also eat bread made of wheat, everyone understands. The people of the country have understood that you have become a puppet in the hands of the Congress. Now the time has come that you should tell your real intention because now the public is asking you questions," she concluded.

Country's top wrestlers including Sakshi, Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia have accused Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexual harassment and intimidation and are demanding the arrest of BJP MP. Leaders from different political parties, including Congress' Priyanka Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and former J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik visited the protest site, extending their support to the wrestlers before they were removed from Jantar Mantar on May 28. Few days back, the Delhi Police had filed a charge-sheet against Brij Bhushan for offences of sexual harassment and stalking the female wrestlers.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 18, 2023 02:22 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website